Meet the Candidates: State Treasurer

A Republican and Democrat are vying for the right to run South Dakota’s State Treasurer office.
The South Dakota State Treasurer's office inside the State Capitol building.
The South Dakota State Treasurer's office inside the State Capitol building.(Austin Goss DNN/KOTA)
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 9:38 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. - According to the state constitution, the South Dakota State Treasurer is responsible for “offering financial management in an expedient and cost-effective manner as a working partner throughout state government on matters.”

This year, two candidates are vying for the office, incumbent Republican Josh Haeder and Democrat challenger John Cunningham.

Haeder, 42, previously worked in finance and real estate in the private sector. Additionally, he formerly worked for Senator Mike Rounds. A Huron native, Josh and his wife Amanda have two daughters.

“When you look at my background in business banking and credit counseling, I believe that I have the right experience to continue moving the office forward, I also have a proven record,” Haeder explained.

Cunningham, 75, also has a background in financial matters. A former Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, he has served as a Chief Revenue Officer for localities across the country. A Sioux Falls native, Cunningham has served on a number of community boards.

“I have had the opportunity to go from a one room country school north of Parker, to getting a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Harvard in Public Finance,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham says that while he has no particular issue with Haeder personally, he believes that the Treasurer’s office requires a “whistleblower.” Specifically, Cunningham alleges that Haeder has shown too much loyalty to Governor Kristi Noem during his first term.

“I have the best qualifications for the job by far,” Cunningham said. “My education, experience, and expertise are by far the greatest for this position. I also can bring more to the job than is currently being done, in terms of being able to be the public’s window into Pierre.”

But Haeder points to his accomplishments while in office. According to him, that includes strengthening the state’s defenses against malware attacks, broadening the efforts of the Unclaimed Property Division, and modernizing the office.

“Improving the functions of the office has been big... When we took over we were using Excel documents, and manually copying and pasting things, which made the management of money unsafe. What I always tell people is we have delivered on every promise that we have made, those promises should continue, and we should work to continue to improve the office.”

Election Day is on November 8th.